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Barbie director Greta Gerwig: I wanted Margot Robbie to get Oscar actress nod

Barbie director Greta Gerwig wanted her leading actress Margot Robbie to be recognised for her portrayal of the Mattel doll after both of them were snubbed in two categories at this year’s Oscars.

Australian actress Robbie, 33, lost out on a best actress nomination but was recognised for best picture as a producer of the highest-grossing film of 2023.

Gerwig told Time Magazine: “Of course I wanted it for Margot. But I’m just happy we all get to be there together.”

The US director, 40, also failed to receive a nod for her directing of the film, where Stereotypical Barbie begins to malfunction, but was nominated with her husband Noah Baumbach for best adapted screenplay.

UK premiere of White Noise – BFI London Film Festival 2022
Greta Gerwig was nominated with her husband Noah Baumbach for best adapted screenplay (Ian West/PA)

She also said: “A friend’s mum said to me, ‘I can’t believe you didn’t get nominated’.

“I said, ‘But I did. I got an Oscar nomination’. She was like, ‘Oh, that’s wonderful for you!’ I was like, ‘I know!’”

The blockbuster film, about Barbie having an existential crisis and entering the real world, did receive eight Academy Award nominations.

America Ferrera, who plays Gloria, and Ryan Gosling, who plays Ken, were both given nods for their supporting roles.

Barbie did win the first Golden Globe for cinematic and box office achievement and a prize at the ceremony for US singer Billie Eilish’s hit What Was I Made For? but has not been very successful during awards season.

At the Bafta ceremony on Sunday, the film received no awards.

Robbie’s Barbie lost out on the best actress prize to Poor Things’ Emma Stone, while best screenplay went to French courtroom drama Anatomy Of A Fall by Justine Triet and Arthur Harari.

Golden Globes 2024
Ryan Gosling played Ken to Margot Robbie’s Barbie (Ian West/PA)

Oppenheimer’s Robert Downey Jr also beat Gosling to the supporting actor gong at the British film award event.

Gerwig told the US magazine that she wanted “to be able to make a body of work that feels like it’s undeniable in terms of the work itself” after being asked about gender and the film industry.

“I don’t want there to be an asterisk next to my name,” she added.

“Do I have more of that than male filmmakers? I don’t know. I know plenty of deeply insecure male filmmakers who are plagued in their own ways.”

Her next project is an adaptation of CS Lewis’s classic children’s fantasy series The Chronicles Of Narnia, which she suggested was going to be difficult as it drew on a “combination of different traditions”.

“As a child, you accept the whole thing — that you’re in this land of Narnia, there’s fauns, and then Father Christmas shows up,” Gerwig said.

“It doesn’t even occur to you that it’s not schematic. I’m interested in embracing the paradox of the worlds that Lewis created, because that’s what’s so compelling about them.”